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Authors: Cinti, D* 
Poncia, P.* 
Procesi, M.* 
Galli, G.* 
Quattrocchi, F.* 
Title: Geostatistical techniques application to dissolved radon hazard mapping: an example from the western sector of the Sabatini Volcanic District and the Tolfa Mountains (central Italy)
Journal: Applied geochemistry 
Series/Report no.: /35 (2013) Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.05.005
Keywords: radon
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
Abstract: Dissolved Rn was determined in 192 samples collected from cold shallow volcanic and sedimentary aquifers, deep thermal aquifers and from waters associated with bubbling gases in the western sector of the Sabatini Volcanic District and the Tolfa Mountains (central Italy). Shallow aquifers hosted in the Quaternary volcanic complexes show values ranging from 1.0 to 352 Bq/L (median value 55 and inter-quartile distance 62 Bq/L), while waters circulating within the permeable horizons of the sandy-to-clayey sediments of the Tolfa flysch have values from 1.0 to 44 Bq/L (median value 6.9 and inter-quartile distance 8.1 Bq/L). Thermal waters are hosted in the Mesozoic carbonate formations and move towards the surface along faults. Here, dissolved Rn values range from 0 to 37 Bq/L (median value 3.0 and inter-quartile distance 9.5 Bq/L). Waters associated with bubbling gases show dissolved Rn contents ranging from 2.0 to 48 Bq/L (median value 6.2 and inter-quartile distance 23 Bq/L). Those results suggest that lithology is the main factor affecting the Rn contents in shallow aquifers, due to the high levels of Rn progenitors U and Ra in the volcanic rocks relative to sedimentary units. The influence of other factors such as the presence of a fracture network, seasonal flow variations, type of discharge (from well or spring) was also investigated. Radon contents of thermal waters result from mixing with shallow waters (from both volcanic and sedimentary rock aquifers) and decrease of Rn solubility with temperature, while for bubbling pools the effects of strong degassing were also considered. In terms of health hazard from direct ingestion of Rn-rich waters, 20.8% of those circulating within the volcanic aquifer show values higher than the recommended value of 100 Bq/L, while none of those circulating within the sedimentary aquifers exceed the threshold value. Geostatistical techniques were used for the elaboration of contour maps by using variogram models and kriging estimation aimed at defining the areas where a potential health hazard due to the direct ingestion of Rn-rich waters and to inhalation of air following degassing of Rn from waters may be expected.
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